While imported passenger cars are sharply increasing in sales in Korea, the number of imported cars that are approaching the end of warranty periods is also growing, which will necessarily affect not only sales of new imported cars but the prices of used import cars.
Most of popular German premium brands are offering three years in warranty period, while guaranteeing 60,000 km up to unlimited milage, but either the period or distance that comes first conditions the termination of the guarantee.
Audi Korea is granting 3-year, 60,000km warranty, while extending to 12 years only for body corrosion, and an exceptional 4-year period for the flagship sedan A8.
BMW is extraordinarily short in warranty period offering 2 years with unlimited milage. During the period essential consumables and periodic checks are provided, but nothing after the 2 year period. Alternatively they are selling the ‘BSI plus’ program for extension of the warranty period.
Jaguar, Land Rover, or Mercedes-Benz are guaranteeing 3-year, 100,000km. As for Jaguar and LR, the warranty may be extended to 5-year, 200,000km when a special program is purchased at the end of the period.
The European brand who provide the longest warranty period is Volvo. They extended to 5-year, 100,000km on a promotion from the previous 3-year, 60,000kim. Volvo announced that all parts are subject to the extension, except for consumables, and so they are longer than Japanese Infiniti or Lexus which provide 4-year, 100,000km.
The importers view that the ratings will differ for each brand or car depending on the warranty period, as imported car sales have been ballooning in recent three years.
According to KAIDA, the total registration of imported cars during 2005~2014 period numbered 926,775 units, of which more than half, or 483,714 units are those registered in recent three years. When assuming European cars account for over 80%, some 400,000 cars are nearing the end of the warranty periods.
Importers are of the opinion that as the warranty period affects the value of the second hand cars in the market, sales of new models and brand image will also be influenced. Even the extension of the period seems to be not so much practicable as the ratio of faults or repair fees differ case by case.
Actually importers are very cautious in extending the period as it will accompany a retail price increase. BMW is hence selling a special program for the extension of warranty. The prices are differ model by model. Volvo is also preparing a warranty program for sale, as being supported by the recent popularity of V40 and so.
“The rationale for the recent promotional program is the ratio of faults and repair costs standing at around half those of other competing brands” said a Volvo representative, adding that “the promotional program will be the only option until an extra program for extending warranty will be introduced.”